A great lecture and Q&A my estimable Freethought Blogs colleague Maryam Namazie:
An important excerpt from the Q&A:
Look, George Bush says he attacked Iraq for women’s rights and I’m a women’s rights campaigner, but I don’t believe him. It’s possible that a politician will say something, that they’ve done something for a reason and, even though they are using terminology that you might use, you know there’s something not right there. I know he didn’t attack Iraq for women’s rights. I know he doesn’t care about women’s rights and women will always be the first people he will sacrifice, or that policy will sacrifice, if they can.
So it’s the same with the far right. They might be using language I’m using, in the sense of saying they’re against Islam, they’re against sharia law, but there are distinctions and I think they are key distinctions. For example, they will often blame immigrants. And I think the very fact that you blame one of the most vulnerable groups in a given society, with the least amount of rights, with the least amount of visibility and blame them for a reactionary movement that actually has been at the forefront of killing them first and foremost – one of the reasons many of them are here is because of that movement – there is racism behind that. It’s blaming people and groups of people, the most vulnerable of people for the acts of a regressive social movement and political movement which actually western governments have had a bigger hand in bringing to centre-stage than those very vulnerable, poor immigrants.
Islamism was not concocted in an immigrant’s kitchen. And so that alone, that rings alarm bells for me. Blaming immigrants, blaming Muslims. My father’s a Muslim. He hates Islamism. Just because someone has an identity, it’s not equivalent to a choice or politics. Because every group is not one homogenous group; there are millions of opinions and characteristics within a given group of “Muslims” and “immigrants”. There are socialists amongst those immigrants. Freethinkers, atheists, people who have risked their lives or lost many a loved one in this battle against Islamism. So please do not blame them for this movement who are the first victims of Islamism, these very immigrants and Muslims that this far-right keeps pointing its fingers at.
Transcript thanks to fatpie42 on atheism.livejournal.
Maryam also has an extensive post comparing the views of the Western far right and Islamism.